“ to all our Parsi friends. May their tribe increase!” Harsha Bhogle’s tweet, just like the picture above, is a poke in the ribs of the Parsi community in India to go forth and multiply. “Jiyo Parsi” scheme by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA) in the Government of India, urges the Parsi community in India to have more children. Only 1 Parsi family in 9 has a child below the age of 10. The numbers are far below replacement level with a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of .88 and a vast ageing population. 45% of adult males and 38 % of adult females are never married. These medical and demographic concerns have led to the creation of a Health and Demographic Module by the Parzor Foundation.
Ads have been launched by  Jiyo Parsi, a scheme announced by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in September 2013 to to arrest the decline in community numbers by encouraging the community to have more children. Never a very large community in the first place, there were fewer than 70,000 Parsis in India as of 2001. Parsis have lived in India since 936 CE, when members arrived in Gujarat fleeing persecution in Iran.
The Jiyo Parsi scheme aims to spend Rs 10 crore over four years on a medical assistance for couples attempting to conceive and on counselling youth to have early marriages and bear several children.

UNESCO New Delhi, acting as a catalyst, initiated the Parzor Project for the Preservation and Promotion of Parsi Zoroastrian Culture and Heritage in 1999. Parzor has been working for 15 years to create awareness of a Bronze Age community which still survives. It is also spreading knowledge both about India’s multicultural diversity and the Zoroastrian community’s contribution to world history, thought, craft and ecology.


This Navroz, a year-and-a-half later,  the Jiyo Parsi scheme has good news to report. While 30 babies have been born since the scheme began, another 11 are expected. As many as 50 couples are undergoing medical treatment under the scheme.

Ritu Marwah is an award-winning author ✍️ and a recognized Bay Area leader in the field of 🏛 art and literature. She won the 2023 Ethnic Media Services award for outstanding international reporting;...